Captain of the Andes: The Life of Don Jose de San Martin Liberator of Argentina, Chile and Peru

Captain of the Andes: The Life of Don Jose de San Martin Liberator of Argentina, Chile and Peru

Captain of the Andes: The Life of Don Jose de San Martin Liberator of Argentina, Chile and Peru

Captain of the Andes: The Life of Don Jose de San Martin Liberator of Argentina, Chile and Peru

Excerpt

In the Club del Progreso of Buenos Aires, Argentina, hangs the curious and unforgettable painting which is reproduced as the frontispiece of this volume. It shows an old man seated at a table; he has thrust aside a pile of documents and a heavy inkstand, and he sits deep in thought. His magnificent eyes are shaded by his hand; there is a singular nobility about his tragic face. The canvas depicts skilfully the medley of past events surging in his memory--old battles, with soldiers doggedly holding their ground under their commander's eye, horses plunging forward, hoarse cries of wounded men; white giant cordilleras and soldiers sick with fatigue, gasping in the thin air but following their leader blindly on and up narrow, treacherous paths, over slippery rocks towards the summit, red with the new dawn; a victorious general proudly unfurling a new flag to a newly freed people. Last of all, in quiet contrast to these martial pictures, is a burning memory of two earnest men, alone in a council chamber, discussing the fate of a continent.

The title of this painting is "The Vision of San Martín." The old man is Don José de San Martín. His genius gave three countries their freedom, yet he died poor and forgotten in a small French town.

Storms of intrigue and slander roared around this man, but time dims factional passions, and in his native Argen tina . . .

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